This introductory article attempts to set a conceptual stage for the special issue on identities of school leaders. We do this by beginning with a discussion of identity – its definition, philosophical roots, nature, and components. We then move to a discussion of identity development and the various dimensions that characterize this development. The article ends with a brief description of a critical constructivist model of identity. Our intention in the article is not to offer a theoretical framework that will be used by the article authors, but to offer a conceptual stage that provides the background for understanding identity.